Trade shows are the largest single expense for B2B marketers. How can you boost your results, and ensure your trade shows are more of an investment? Here are 10 ways you can drive noticeably greater results from your trade show program:
1. Re-Examine Your Trade Show Schedule
Do you go to the same 5 restaurants for lunch that you went to 10 years ago? Probably not. They change in quality, new restaurants open, and your tastes change. So why go to the same trade shows you went to for the last 10 years? Your markets have changed, some shows have stagnated, and others have grown. Find out which shows attract your best customers, and adjust your show schedule accordingly.
2. Set Show-Specific Goals
Your trade show program may have one overall goal, such as lead generation, or brand awareness. Take it the next level in two ways.
First, by quantifying your goals (Generate 100 leads? Increase brand awareness by 5%? Meet with 25 key clients?). Here’s how you can figure out your ROI, and thus how many leads you need to take at each show to be profitable: Divide your expected revenue (Estimated lead count multiplied by close rate multiplied by dollars in average sale) by your estimated exhibiting costs. Now you know what your lead count goals have to be, by show.
Second, by matching each show’s marketing goals to your company’s position in the market. Are you a new arrival? Then focus on building brand and company awareness. Do lots of people know who you are? Then put more emphasis on lead generation. Do you already have good market share, even leadership market share? Then your goal should be face-to-face meetings with clients and key prospects.
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